CLC's free tuition program receives $1.2 million from the state

  • Jose Garcia, a 33-year-old from Waukegan, was one of 182 students selected for the first year of CLC's Transform Lake County program.

    Jose Garcia, a 33-year-old from Waukegan, was one of 182 students selected for the first year of CLC's Transform Lake County program. Courtesy of College of Lake County

 
 
Posted11/20/2020 5:15 AM

Transform Lake County -- a College of Lake County initiative to cover full tuition, textbooks, exam fees and other expenses to residents seeking career certificates in certain fields -- has received its second round of funding via a new $1.2 million grant from the state, officials announced.

In January, the program got its start with $1.5 million in state money. Soon after, about 1,800 Lake County residents had submitted applications.

 

"It was a great response from the community, and we have a lot of people asking for more scholarships," CLC grant coordinator Marissa Greathouse said.

From 1,800 applicants, 182 students were selected for the first round. The second grant is expected to provide opportunities to about 82 residents.

Jesus Ruiz, the dean of CLC's Lakeshore Campus in Waukegan, said the college reduced the number of students for round two in part because the school must take extra precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Ruiz said, the program will fund different certifications this time, based on community feedback. Some of those programs are more costly to run and require additional equipment.

The students selected in round two will be able to pursue certificates in the automotive program, the automotive collision repair program, the computer-aided design program, the HVAC program and the truck driving program.

Most of the certificate programs offered can be completed in a matter of months, and some, such as operating a forklift, can be completed in days.

Applicants must complete a Transform Lake County interest form. For more, visit clcillinois.edu/TLC or contact Ashley Ward by sending an email to award1@clcillinois.edu or calling (847) 543-2390.

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